PRETTYMOLECULES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PRETTYMOLECULES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Antibody. Molecular model of the surface of an antibody. This Y-shaped protein is produced by B-lymphocyte white blood cells as part of an immune response. The 'limbs' (upper left & right) bind to foreign antigens such as the surface proteins of invading bacteria, preventing them from interfering with normal cell processes. Bound antibodies can also make it easier for macrophage white blood cells to digest antigens, as well as triggering the breakdown of foreign cells by the complement system.
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